President and one-time Sandinista revolutionary Daniel Ortega appeared to have won easy re-election in Nicaragua, according to results released Monday, overcoming a constitutional limit on re-election and reports of voting problems. Ortega had a roughly 2-1 lead over his nearest challenger, Fabio Gadea, while former President Arnoldo Aleman was a distant third with 6 per cent with about 44 per cent of the votes counted by midday.
Electoral council President Roberto Rivas said shortly after Sunday’s vote that a representative quick count of the results gave Ortega a large advantage as well, but he did not describe how that survey was conducted.
A domestic group of observers, Let’s Have Democracy, said it recorded 600 complaints of voting irregularities, a handful of injuries in protests and 30 arrests. But so far Ortega is winning with such a clear margin, sporadic irregularities are unlikely to have an impact.
A team from the European Union said it would issue a report Tuesday after complaints that included a polling place set on fire, election officials obstructing voters from opposing parties and protests by those who didn’t receive their voting credentials.
The head of the Organization of American States observer mission, Dante Caputo, initially complained that its observers were been denied access to 10 polling stations, but later said in a statement that the issue was resolved.